SAA asked the government for R10 billion – Gigaba

South African Airways asked the government for R10 billion ($772 million) as part of a recapitalization plan aimed at returning the state-owned carrier to profit, according to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

The request was included in a one-year corporate plan submitted by the airline to the National Treasury in March, Gigaba said in a written reply to a question from opposition lawmakers, without saying whether he would agree to it.

Any funds awarded by the state to SAA would come on top of this month’s R2.2 billion injection to repay a loan by Standard Chartered.

The National Treasury has ordered SAA to submit a turnaround plan that lays out steps toward a recovery before it commits to a further rescue deal.

It was forced into covering the Standard Chartered loan first after the London-based lender refused to extend a repayment deadline before the end of June.

The government is evaluating assets it could sell to pay for the bailout, Gigaba said earlier this month.

SAA hasn’t made a profit since 2011 and has previously survived on R19.1 billion of state-backed guarantees.

The airline has been without a permanent chief executive officer since 2015 and the cabinet is considering Vodacom executive Vuyani Jarana for the role, a person familiar with the matter said this month.

Read: Telkom stake could finance SAA bailout

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SAA asked the government for R10 billion – Gigaba